Issue#17 - 20th April 2020
APLMA/APMEN Partner update

The fight against Malaria and COVID-19

Dear APLMA Partners and Friends,

I hope this finds you safe and well.

The past few months have been daunting. We’ve witnessed how pandemic disease can overwhelm health systems, cripple economies and livelihoods, and disrupt our communities and daily lives.

Our immediate focus must be to address COVID 19. However, we cannot do this at the expense of other health priorities. It cannot be one or the other. It must be both. In Asia and the Pacific, we have come so far in the fight against malaria and now is not the time to slow that fight.

We are committed to making sure that malaria elimination efforts continue. APLMA and APMEN are working closely with the RBM Partnership, WHO, and other partners to monitor and support countries in responding to malaria in the current context. We are collaborating with country partners to assess potential commodity shortages, the impact on service delivery, and implications on health and malaria financing. As a global community, we must stand ready to act and respond.

This week as we mark World Malaria Day, we have only a decade remaining to achieve the 2030 goal of ending malaria in our region. However, a great deal of work remains. At this crucial time, the APLMA Secretariat is going through a transition in leadership. We thank Dr Ben Rolfe for his leadership over the past six years and look forward to welcoming Dr Sarthak Das as the new CEO on 1st May. Sarthak is a global public health leader with vast experience in fighting communicable diseases globally and in Asia and the Pacific. With Sarthak at the helm, we are confident that we will continue to accelerate elimination efforts across the region.

We are faced with a crisis of enormous proportions. If nothing else, let’s use this as an opportunity to remind ourselves that robust and resilient health systems are not optional; they are critical to our lives, economies and societies. If we neglect investing in health and in building bridges between countries, we do so at our own peril. The fight against malaria in Asia and the Pacific shows what’s possible with the right investments and collaboration.

Jeff Smith
Chief Operating Officer / Acting Chief Executive Officer
Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA)

Malaria elimination in the news

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen appealed for the continued efforts to eliminate malaria in the Kingdom despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.Read more
Organizations working to curb the spread of malaria are exploring options to continue operations while protecting health care workers amid the threat of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Read more
Malaria infections fell from nearly 50,000 in 2003 to more than 5,000 in 2019, according to the National Malaria Control and Elimination Program of the Department of Health (DOH) Philippines. Read more
An opinion piece by Patrik Silborn and Dick Van Motman calling for investments in robust health systems to respond to COVID19 and malaria. Read more
Parliamentarians from across party lines have joined hands to support India's efforts to eliminate malaria by 2030. Read more
Vietnam has set a target to eliminate malaria by 2030, since it has recently achieved remarkable results in preventing and combating the dangerous tropical disease. Read more
An opinion-piece by KJ Alphons, BJP leader and Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha, and Gaurav Gogoi, Congress leader and Member of Parliament of Lok Sabha. Read more
M2030 partner, Yoma Group, organized a fundraising effort with proceeds donated to five important causes which includes the fight against malaria in Myanmar. Read more

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